MARCH 2008

Connecticut waste oil recycler penalized

A New Haven, Connecticut, waste oil recycling facility will pay a $42,075 penalty for violating federal regulations covering the storage and handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Active Oil, Inc. has a permit issued by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to recycle waste oil. Its permit requires that all waste oil accepted by the facility be sampled for the purpose of identifying any contamination, including PCBs. It is illegal to recycle waste oil containing PCBs at concentrations of 50 parts per million or greater.

In December 2003, Active Oil accepted a shipment of waste oil without sampling it before placing it into one of its receiving tanks. This resulted in the failure to detect PCB contamination that was present in the waste oil. The contamination eventually spread to all three of the facilities receiving tanks and to its bulk storage tank because the tanks are interconnected. Some of the contaminated waste oil was subsequently loaded by Active Oil onto another company’s truck as part of a commercial transaction.

The entire facility had to shut down for a significant period of time to address the contamination in its tanks. Active Oils acceptance of the PCB-contaminated waste oil with PCB concentrations in excess of 50 parts per million caused it to violate the PCB storage requirements. Facilities that store PCB waste must obtain EPA’s approval. Also, loading the PCB-contaminated waste oil onto another company’s tank truck as part of a commercial transaction constitutes an illegal distribution of PCBs.

Active Oil has since remedied the PCB contamination at its facility and is no longer in violation of the federal PCB regulations.